Devī Kūṣmāṇḍā
ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नमः॥
Om Devi Kushmandayai Namah॥
Maa Kushmanda is the fourth manifestation of Goddess Durga. On the fourth day of Navaratri, worship of Devi Kushmanda is performed.
Her divine spark, characterized in her physical depiction as a smile, is what created the light that flooded what was once vast darkness. She is known as the One who created the universe.
Considered by some to be the Mother of the Sun, she brings the Sun’s warmth, light, and clarity to Earth. She resides in the sun and so provides the energy that creates tremendous heat.
The name Kushmanda is a compound word that consists of three Sanskrit words ‘ku’ (meaning-little), ‘ushma’(meaning-warmth) and ‘anda’(meaning-egg); which combined together means a little warm cosmic-egg.
Ku-ushma-anda may be thought of as the “Egg of Light in the World,” illuminating all things, making all things known, and is the source of energy for life.
Her role is to add heat and light to the cosmic egg, the egg or bija which gives the essence of all the possibilities for creation. So, Kushmanda Devi cooks the Cosmic egg.
For spiritual aspirants, She is the Goddess of Purification, of Tapasya – adding heat and light to purify all of the actions we perform.
As we become inspired to learn the sacred studies and commit to practicing our chosen sadhana, grace falls upon us in the form of Kushmanda Devi.
This illumined Goddess of Purification elevates us on our Path by purifying all of our actions, making everything we do a form of puja.
She bestows brightness, clarity, and profound peace to her adorers. Her radiance is eternal.
Mother brings light into darkness and establishes harmony in your life. She is a form of “Adi Shakti ” and worshipping Maa Kushmanda lets us enter into the heart chakra.
Her warm nature nurtures the entire universe. Grace and dignity of Maa Kushmanda is truly incredible. Her beauty is boundless.
Upon obtaining the grace of Goddess Kushmanda, all of our actions are continuously purified so that they become the most expressive demonstration of the sincerity of our love!
Ultimately, with Her purifying grace, all actions become sadhana, a sacrificial offering, leaving no separation between the spiritual life and worldly life. It all becomes “one” and we enjoy the highest illumination, contentment, and peace with no room for conflict and strife. Such is the grace of this revered Goddess!
She is a beautiful Goddess with a pleasant, nurturing smile, and is represented with eight-arms with the following significance:
chakra: divine weapon which is constantly in motion; to ward off negative energies
gada (mace): symbol of power and strength packing a powerful concentrated blow
japa mala (rosary): offers all types of Siddhi (perfection) and Nidhi (treasure) to her devotees
amrit: holy immortal nectar, which is sura, the essence, distilled wine
bow and arrow: focus of potential abd kinetic energies
kamandula: water pot, self sufficient
rides a lion: pursuit of dharma
golden and radiant in color: like the sun, she lights up the world
Worshiping this goddess is believed to bestow spiritual fulfillment and harmony in the life of all devotees.
It is believed that this is the only goddess who can bestow 8 siddhis (perfections) and 9 nidhis (jewels) to her sadhaks. .
Her boundless blaze gives light in lives of human being. Her grace endows divine spark to adorers. Goddess Kushmanda is true symbolism of divine spark.
Worshippers of this Goddess certainly obtain cosmic energy that enhances their positive aura.
According to the legend, there was absolute darkness in the solar system or galaxies. It was null and void. It was Devi Kushmanda who created the world as we see it today.
The sun gives life to the world and Goddess Kushmanda herself is the power of the sun and is the source of all energy when she resides within the core of the Sun God. It was to create a balance in the universe and provide life to all living beings from the sun rays, her power gives the sun its capability to give life to everyone, as she herself is Shakti.
She is the source of Lord Surya's power. Without her, Surya's light and energy will grow dim and fade away and will become powerless.
Lord Surya gives life to creation, but she is also the one who is responsible for it too. It is her power that makes him capable of doing so, and when Mahashakti appears in the form of Kushmanda, it is what she does.
From her smile, a body of energy came forth from her and from that potent energy, came forth light and creation. She always smiles when the Gods, inferior people and other celestial beings honored her.
Additional Philosophy on Kushmanda Devi
When the universe was non-existent and darkness prevailed everywhere, Maa Kushmanda produced the cosmic egg bringing light to the universe. Kushmanda has the power and strength to live in the core of Sun. Her luminosity gives the Sun its brightness. She is said to give directions to the Sun God.
We ask for auspiciousness from She who has a full pot (kalaśa) overflowing with blood red wine (surā) in her lotus like hands.
Surā means light and divinity, surā is what makes the gods of the light, asura means not-light and this is what makes them ‘demons’ or we could say those who are not-light.
Surā means that which is distilled; when the essence has been extracted out. It represents the extraction of the essence of things- the wine of our essential nature, or the wine of divine love (essential love) as Rumi used to speak of it. The wine is blood red representing the essence of our life energy.
Kūṣmāṇḍa is also a type of pumpkin-gourd (Benincasa Cerifera) which is eaten in the autumn to protect the health from the changing seasons. The Devi Purāṇa breaks the meaning of her name as little (ku) warm (uṣma) egg (aṇḍa).
In the Hindu stories of creation (from the āgamas), there are three levels of creation based on the creation of the causal realm, the creation of the mental realm and the creation of the physical realm.
Western thinking often believes that there was matter (elements and compounds) that came together to start life which evolved slowly into feeling, thinking and developed consciousness.
The Hindu understanding begins with consciousness, which separates into individualities. Then the mental/dream realm is generated in which the individual entities interact within. Then the physical realm is created in which souls manifest and experiene the fruits of their actions. Therefore consciousness is inherent in everything, not because it evolved a mind to think- but because it is made from the matter of consciousness.
At the end of the Devī Māhātmya there are three additional chapters called the Rahasya (the secret), which is a deeper and more complex Śakta philosophy. The first Rahasya, is an anthorpomorphic description of the creation of the causal realm (pradhāna).
The Rahasya says that the Supreme Mother (Parameśvarī) is known as Mahālakṣmī and has three modes (triguṇa), both manifest and unmanifest (v.4). It is these three śakti of the Mother that give birth to the three guṇas of rajas, tamas and sattva.
The male polarity is a passive state of consciousness (puruṣa). In the Devī Māhātmya Rahasya, Śrī śakti is called Mahālakṣmī, Bhū śakti is called Mahāsarasvatī and Kālī śakti is called Mahākāli.
There is one goddess manifesting in three modes pervading the whole existence. From Mahālakṣmī are born Brahmā and Lakṣmī (v.19). From Mahāsarasvatī are born Viṣṇu and Gauri (v.23-24). From Mahākālī are born Rudra and Sarasvatī (v.22).
Then Mahālakṣmī made Sarasvatī the wife of Brahmā, Gauri the wife of Rudra, and Lakṣmī the wife of Viṣṇu (v.26-27).
This is a mixing of guṇas that begins to create the primordial causal elements of creation. [For example, the I-ness (ahaṁta) also called self-consciousness becomes ego through the conjunction of tamas.]
The Goddess of Sound (Sarasvatī) and Brahmā then generated the primordial egg (aṇḍa) containing all the structures and elements of creation.
Rudra and Gauri broke the egg open, and Viṣṇu and Lakṣmī sustained the manifesting world (v.27-29).
This abbreviated story of creation is found in many different Hindu sacred texts and it is filled with deep meaning about the functioning of consciousness which is reflected in the manifestation of the world.
Śrī śakti manifests and unfolds and generates an egg and the world through it. She is not just everywhere she IS everything that is anywhere.
The power of generating (creating the egg-aṇḍa) is seen in the form of Kūṣmāṇḍā. She is Jagatprasūtye- she who gives birth to the world.
In this way, Kūṣmāṇḍā is associated with conceiving, pregnancy and birth. She is a creative energy that can generate abundance, happiness, and love.
She is represented by the nourishing pumpkin-gourd and is a goddess associated with increasing ojas- strengthening the immune system, slowing aging and increasing longevity.